There’s been a lot of focus on the fact UFC 157 will host the first fight inside the Octagon between women. However, the match-up between bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche will also feature another milestone, as Carmouche will mark the first openly gay competitor to take to the UFC’s infamous eight-sided cage.
While the notion could make some people uncomfortable, UFC President Dana White is certainly not among them even if he and his sport have taken flak in the past for comments some would see as disparaging towards homosexuals. In fact, White is not only proud to have Carmouche on the company’s roster but hopes she serves as a beacon of light for other Mixed Martial Artists who might be living in the closet out of fear for how they’ll be treated.
“I love it,” said White of Carmouche being part of the UFC in a conversation with Jim Rome on Showtime. “I think what it’s going to take is it’s going to take some brave people. If you are gay, you’re going to have to be brave, and you’re going to have to come out say it.”
“But people are very worried about it,” he continued, showing a grasp of the difficulty many people face in going public with their sexual preference. “Not just athletes, but actors and actresses in Hollywood, they’re nervous about what’s going to happen to them and their careers if they come out and say they are.”
Though he doesn’t know if Carmouche’s peers will follow her lead, as it stands, White is thrilled to have a representative like the former Marine as part of the UFC, simply stating, “I’m happy to have her.”
Carmouche’s historic clash with Rousey will come on February 23 in Anaheim, California.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE/SHOSPORTS